The Brookfield Bulldogs football team hosted the Centralia Panthers in a Clarence Cannon Conference battle for Homecoming this past Friday night at Burlington Field. The Dogs offensive woes continued, with a trio of “Golden Boot”‘s making the difference for Brookfield.
The teams exchanged possessions to start the game. On their second possession, Centralia broke off a long run to score from 54-yards out. The extra point put Brookfield down 7-0 early.
Q1 8:09 - Centralia 7 Brookfield 0
The teams exchanged possessions on their next drives as well. Brookfield would get on the board on their third drive of the game. After a defensive stand, which resulted in a turnover on downs at the Panthers 34, Runs by Brycen Corf, Anthony Cupp, JJ Abongo and Reed McBroom would earn one first down. With the drive stalled at the Panthers 23, “The Golden Boot” of Arturo Huerta delivered on a 40-yard field goal.
Q1 2:08 - Centralia 7 Brookfield 3
Centralia’s next drive would eat up some time, stretching into the second quarter. Amazingly, though, this long drive (clock wise) was a glorified three-and-out. The Dogs earned two first downs on the nexxt drive, with runs from McBroom, Corf, and Abongo converting for Brookfield. Still, the Dogs would eventually be forced to punt. Thankfully, the Brookfield defense would force a turnover, with Tyler Starlin recovering a fumble. A pass from Anthony Cupp to Garrett Zahner, and runs from Anthony and McBroom would get the Dogs to the Centralia two yard line. The offense stalled from here, but Huerta added another field goal to close the gap.
Q2 5:57 - Centralia 7 Brookfield 6
On their next drive, Centralia would travel 81 yards on eight plays, eventually scoring on a 44-yard touchdown run. The extra point was good.
Q2 3:43 - Centralia 14 Brookfield 6
This score would remain good at the half, as the teams exchanged possessions to run out the second quarter. Over the course of the first half, the Dogs lost the services of JJ Abongo and Garrett Zahner. The latter’s injury being a concussion, which is always a serious concern.
Halftime - Centralia 14 Brookfield 6
The Dogs took possession of the pigskin for the first drive of the second half. Gage Maxwell returned the opening kickoff of the half to the Panthers 20. Runs by McBroom got the ball to the 15, being set back by a penalty. Huerta added this third field goal of the game from the 15 yard line.
Q3 10:03 - Centralia 14 Brookfield 9
Page 2 of 2 - On their first drive of the half, Centralia would eat a lot of clock, driving 79 yards on 16 plays, over the course of just under eight minutes of game time. The game’s final score came on a four-yard touchdown pass.
Q3 2:12 - Centralia 21 Brookfield 9
Despite injuries, the Brookfield offense and defense would fight for the remainder of the game. But with so many key injuries, the team struggled to move the football. Still, the stalwart Brookfield defense held fast for the rest of the game.
Final - Centralia 21 Brookfield 9
Looking at the LCL’sunofficial stats: Centralia topped Brookfield in first downs (17-5), total yards (335-133), and did not allow Brookfield to convert on third down opportunity. Still, the Dogs defense continues to be the strong point of the now 4-1 team.
“I am really proud of our kids effort, that’s a heck of a football team we faced tonight,” said Head Coach Nile Thudium. “We knew we would have to play mistake-free, and we did that for the most part. We had some key injuries, but we got into this Conference to play the best competition in the state, and we did that tonight. It’s all about getting better for the post-season.”